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I DO Wanna Be A Player!

This blog, at least the tabletop gaming entries, are mostly written from the perspective of Dungeon Masters and gamemasters. That makes sense, after all - the two writers here have spent significantly more time running games than actually playing in them. There's nothing wrong with this, but typically the people running tabletop games would like an occasional chance to be a player as well. So what happens when the stars finally align, and (after much convincing) one of your regular players or GMing friends offers to (gasp) run a session and include you as a player? If it's been a while since you were on the other side of the (literal or metaphorical) GM screen, the concept can feel a bit strange and even worrisome. Fear not! For this week on Never Say Dice, we have some tips to help you in the temporary transition from RPG Runner to RPG Player. - A A : You’ve made it to character creation and that backlog of unused ideas is practically screaming at you. If you’re anything lik
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Play It Again, Sam!

Sometimes it feels like people who consume media are divided into two camps, with little leeway in between: one says "I don't keep books/games/movies after I'm done with them, I'm not going to read/play/watch them again," and the other instinctively amasses the things they like in order to access or re-visit  them on a moment's notice. (Anyone who has ever helped me move knows which group I belong to... and I'm very sorry about your backs.) Physical media and its associated benefits and drawbacks notwithstanding, the motivations behind these positions say a lot about the way people engage with the media they enjoy.   With predominately linear formats like books and movies, the engagement process is mostly pre-defined. While one could argue about the way home viewing has changed the cinematic experience by allowing audiences to jump in at any point or to back up and  re-examine missed details, and that printed media, particularly comics, have always had a &

Popular Perception Check

For almost as long as we’ve had tabletop games, they’ve been depicted in various media, from movies and TV shows to news and print. Arguably, at least until the most recent gaming renaissance we’ve entered, that portrayal in mainstream media has mostly been negative. If you lived through the Satanic Panic like the two of us at Never Say Dice did, you’re likely to understand what we’re talking about. For those newer to the hobby, tabletop game fans were depicted as socially-inept, sloppy nerds at best, and Satan-worshiping murder cultists and at worst. (Can’t we just be both in peace!?!) Perhaps as the hobby, and those who partake of it, have matured, these portrayals have softened a bit. Or perhaps positive representations in streaming media have made a significant change. Maybe it's both. This week, we thought we'd talk about how we've seen these depictions change, and how has they've affected our shared hobby and the preconceptions newcomers bring to it?  - A A : C

I Wanna Rock!

Planning out a character for your story or game can be difficult and time consuming. When you're just starting out, there are a great number of things to consider, no matter if you're working on a Player Character or an NPC. Even in digital games, there can be so much going on in the character creation process that it can be easy to be sucked in, fine tuning the looks and stats of your digital avatar to get it just how you want it... and before you know it several hours have passed and you haven’t even "played" the game! We’ve previously talked about developing characters by providing specific details, such as giving them current or previous jobs and love lives . Another thing you may want to consider is whether or not they have a pet (or even if they  should) . In Dungeons and Dragons, you’ll often see a Ranger with an animal companion, or a Wizard with their familiar. But you don't tend to see other character archetypes walking around with pets in D&D, or e

The Weather Stone

If the rock is wet, it's raining. If the rock is swinging, the wind is blowing. If the rock casts a shadow, the sun is shining. If the rock does not cast a shadow and is not wet, the sky is cloudy. If the rock is difficult to see, it is foggy. If the rock is white, it is snowing. If the rock is coated with ice, there is a frost. If the ice is thick, it's a heavy frost. If the rock is bouncing, there is an earthquake. If the rock is under water, there is a flood. If the rock is warm, it is sunny. If the rock is missing, there was a tornado (or the Rogue stole it). If the rock is wet and swinging violently, there is a hurricane. If the rock can be felt but not seen, it is night time. If the rock has white splats on it, watch out for birds. If there are two rocks, stop drinking, you are drunk. If the rock is glowing, get to a fallout shelter. Weather Stones have been "prognosticating" the current conditions for as long as…well, probably as long as there have been rocks.

Enter... the Scary Door!

"You are entering the vicinity of an area adjacent to a location. The kind of place where there might be a monster, or some kind of weird mirror. These are just examples, it could also be something much better. Prepare to enter... The Scary Door!" - Futurama , "A Head In the Polls" (1999) The Twilight Zone was created to be a disturbing mirror held up to our own reality, something we've brought up in this blog a few times during our past trips beyond The Dimension of Imagination and into the Fifth Dimension , and sometimes, especially lately, it can feel a bit too much like we’ve already slipped into the other side of that mirror. But Twilight Zone was always meant to have us think about the world around us and perhaps teach a lesson or two about it. And while  The Scary Door may have just been a parody bit, that can teach us too, even if it's just to laugh at the things we love and at our own seriousness. Certainly, our own stories, tabletop and otherwi

Rewind/Remake (B Side)

It's no wonder most genre fans have an involuntary twitch whenever they hear the word "remake." I don't need to go into examples - if you're reading this, I'm sure you're already thinking of one (or many) that utterly missed the original work's point, or was only tenuously connected, or veered into a more "test audience-friendly" direction. And yet there are legitimately beloved remakes that have largely supplanted their predecessors in popular consciousness: The Thing (1982), The Fly (1986) , Battlestar Galactica (2004), Westworld (2016)... If we include works that respond to, while also recreating, the originals, we can include things like Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020) and The Little Shop of Horrors (1986)... although musical adaptations probably deserve their own category.  With such unpredictable results, why do remakes happen? Setting aside the purely commercial reasons often trotted out as conversation-terminating cliches ("t